Update on State Medicare Advantage Plans

Update on State Medicare Advantage Plans

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November 15, 2013

The State of Illinois is requiring Medicare-primary retirees, annuitants and survivors currently enrolled in the College Insurance Program (CIP) and the State Employees’ Group Health Program (including those who have Medicare-primary dependents on their health insurance coverage) to move to a State-sponsored Medicare Advantage Plan.

Affected SURS members must select one of the providers listed below, or risk losing coverage. According to CMS, a special enrollment period will be held November 12 - December 13, 2013. The effective date of coverage under the new plans will be February 1, 2014.

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has awarded contracts to the following Medicare Advantage Plans:

  • Aetna Life Insurance Company/Coventry Advantra – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan – (855) 223-4807
  • Humana Health Plan – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan - (800) 951-0125, more information at
  • Humana Benefit Plan – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan (Livingston and Knox counties) – (800) 951-0125, more information at
  • United Healthcare – a nationwide Medicare Advantage PPO – (888) 223-1092

Initial Letter from CMS
Impacted SURS members will receive an initial letter (see links below), which will include rates, from CMS regarding the vendor changes and the steps they will need to take regarding their health insurance coverage. This initial informational letter will go out the week of Oct. 21, 2013.

State retiree, survivor or dependent letter
CIP retiree, survivor or dependent letter

The Medicare Advantage Program OR Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL)
The new State of Illinois Medicare Advantage Program is titled: TRAIL - Total Retiree Advantage Illinois – Your Trail to Better Health.Trail%20logo%20for%20website.jpg

The complete program information is now available on the CMS website for both the College Insurance Program (CIP) and the State Employees’ Group Health Program. The TRAIL Decision Guide includes an explanation of plan options, plan comparison chart, rate chart, coverage map, and contact information for the four plan administrators. The site also offers a comprehensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet for CIP and State Employees.

State Employees TRAIL Guide:


FAQs – State Employees


The CMS TRAIL site also includes the TRAIL Seminar Schedule. CMS will be holding over 30 informational presentations around the state to answer retiree questions.

TRAIL Seminar Schedule:

TRAIL Seminar Video Presentation:

Enrollment Packet
Affected members should receive an enrollment packet from the Department of Central Management Services’ Bureau of Benefits the week of November 11th. The packet will include the TRAIL Guide, the TRAIL Seminar Schedule and the enrollment form. Members should look for the TRAIL logo on the outside of the packet. It is important that members complete and return the enrollment form to SURS, P.O. Box 2710, Champaign, IL 61825-2710, before December 13, 2013.

  • TRAIL enrollment hotline - for members needing assistance with the enrollment form - (800) 610-2091

State Retiree Packet

CIP Packet

SURS will continue to post up-to-date information on our website as we receive it from CMS. Please read your letter and the information provided by CMS carefully. If you still have questions, please call SURS at 800-275-7877 or 217-378-8800.

For the most up-to-date information go to: